COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Seven years ago, historic City Mills just north of downtown Columbus was dangerously close to being lost. 

Not now. 

The mill has been refurbished and turned into a boutique hotel. The finishing piece is a restaurant that opens next week.  The two old mill buildings date back to the late 1800s and they are a significant part of the industrial fabric of Columbus. 

There are currently private events booked into the restaurant over the next week. It opens next Thursday Dec. 22 to the public. Reservations are required. 

A new restaurant – appropriately named Millhouse Kitchen and Bar – plays off that history. 

The Hursting fame – which was used to move hydropower into the building – is a centerpiece of the restaurant. As are the millstones that were used to grind the corn into meal.

Much of the restaurant is in the old River Building. There is some new construction on the footprint of the old Horace King structure that was demolished. 

The building was saved by Columbus developer Ken Henson and the Historic Columbus Foundation. The hotel and this restaurant are owned and operated by the Pezold Companies, a Columbus-based firm with diverse holdings that include Valley Hospitality.

“We are at the 11th hour,” said Pezold Companies Director of Marketing Cassie Myers. “We can see the light at the end of the tunnel we have been chasing for a very long time.”

City Mills is located on a prime piece of riverfront property that is just north of the new Mercer University Columbus Medical School campus. It was the first industrial site in the city back in the 1820s. The current structures were built in the late 1800s.

“This piece of property just means so much to us,” Myers said. “Not only because of the vision of Ken (Henson), Historic Columbus and eventually Mr. Pezold had for it. But just the blood, sweat, and tears that have poured into this building over the last couple of years. The contractors, the staff, the owners, everybody who has worked so hard to turn something that was going to be demolished into something that is so beautiful.”